Reviews for Fires of Merlin : Library Edition

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 October

Gr 7-9--When Jimbo hears that he might be expelled from school, his best friend has a plan to find out if the rumor is true. The two boys hide a walkie-talkie in the teacher's lounge, but end up hearing more than they planned on. Soon they are being pursued by people with amazing powers who lead them on a chase across England to places beyond their wildest dreams. The well-paced, rollicking story line vacillates between hair-raising and hilarious. The relationships between the three main characters, especially the love-hate relationship Jimbo has with his leather-clad, motorcycle-riding older sister, are realistic and charming. Even the secondary characters are unique and interesting. Julian Rhind-Tutt reads Mark Haddon's book (Random/David Fickling Books, 2010) with a pronounced blue-collar British accent. He reproduces the cadences and idioms of a London teen with delightful authenticity and makes each character sound unique. This book contains language that might be offensive to some, but the swearing is in keeping with the age of the characters and the setting. Some British slang might be unfamiliar, but the meaning is usually discernable in context. Jimbo's adventure is much lighter and less philosophical than Only You Can Save Mankind (HarperCollins, 2006), but has some Pratchett-like random spontaneity. A great choice for reluctant readers, especially boys, and anyone who is in the mood for a bit of fun.--Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT

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